Actress Nathalie Delon has died at the age of 79

Actress Nathalie Delon, here in 1969, died on January 21, 2021, at the age of 79, in Paris.


Text by: Siegfried Forster Follow

3 min

Known especially for her role of Jane alongside her husband Alain Delon in "The Samurai" by Jean-Pierre Melville, actress Nathalie Delon died this Thursday, January 21, in Paris.

"She died of cancer quickly," said their son, Anthony.


Read more

What is striking when we review the number of films - around thirty - in which Nathalie Delon starred alongside film celebrities (Brigitte Bardot, Francis Huster, Raquel Welch, Anthony Hopkins) and the names of directors who called on hers (Jean-Pierre Melville, Roger Vadim, Christian-Jacque, Claude Berri, Werner Schroeter), it is paradoxically her lack of visibility in French cinema. 

Became an actress thanks to the intervention of

Alain Delon

 to give her the answer in

The Samurai

 by Jean-Pierre Melville, she will remain for the general public this character of Jane incarnated in 1967 for this film which has become cult.

It was three years after getting married to the most sought-after French actor at the time, also three years after the birth of their son Anthony.

A year later, no longer able to stand the feminine conquests of her husband, she takes her suitcases and her son under her arm to change her life.

She will continue the cinema, confined to secondary roles.

She will also become a director in the 1980s, without her films meeting with great success.  

Francine Canovas, daughter of a blackfoot from Oran

When Nathalie Delon published her autobiography in 2006, the public discovered her family's Spanish origins, her birth under the name Francine Canovas in Morocco, in Oujda, on August 1, 1941, as the daughter of a pied-noir d ' Oran who abandons her and her mother, originally from Melilla, when Nathalie is eight months old.  

Twenty years later, it is she who leaves her first husband, Guy Barthélémy, a former called of the contingent with whom she has a daughter.

At the age of 21, she moved to Paris and met Alain Delon in a nightclub by chance.

The latter, engaged to Romy Schneider, begins to have a romantic relationship with Nathalie.

Two years later, he finally decides to leave the German actress to marry Nathalie in August 1964 and settle in Los Angeles where their son Anthony was born.  

Even decades after their separation, Alain and Nathalie Delon have remained in contact and their last photo with their son Anthony dates from December 2020, published on Instagram.


Receive all the international news directly in your mailbox

I subscribe

Follow all the international news by downloading the RFI application


  • Cinema

  • Culture

  • France